|Poetry: January 18, 2023 Issue [#11764]|
This week: Which Words? Edited by: fyn
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A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.~~ Richard Bach
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.~~ Stephen King
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.~~ Maya Angelou
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.~~ Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don’t forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth.~~ Paula Danziger
There’s no better teacher for writing than reading… Get a library card. That’s the best investment.~~ Alisa Valdes
Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.~~ Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
|Eons ago in my first writing class in college, the very first day, the professor, Mr. Connole slapped a book down on his desk and asked, "Now who in this class actually has the guts to tell me you think you can write?|
Me, being me, I raised my hand. I wasn't the only one though, several others too, raised their hands. I think there were five brave souls in that class of thirty students. His next question was, "How many of you want to write?" Almost every hand went up. The last question was, "How many of you have to write?" My hand shot up. One lone hand. "Why?" he asked. "Because I can't not write." I started to say more, but he waved for me to stop.
"There," he said. "That is it. THE answer. Because you HAVE to; because you can't not." What followed for the rest of the semester, was his working with the students to get them to figure out if, indeed, they HAD to write. And not just by writing, learning all sorts of great stuff, but also reading. I read more books in his classes (I took every one) than in many of my lit classes and I took every one the school offered.
According to Mr. C., reading was THE BEST way to learn how to write, about writing --whether it was poetry, novels, or essays. Read the masters. Reread them. Reread them in twenty and thirty and fifty years. Again and again and again. I did. I have. I do.
So much of what we write is not 'simply' words. Not just. It is learning nuance. It is understanding what themes are and how they work. It is learning symbolism and how to use it. It is learning how to layer and how to make it work for your piece. Giving added depth to your work gives the reader possibility of deep insight.
Reading so many books centered by a symbol that continuously ran through, taught me a) their value and b) what different sorts of things can become a symbol. n open window, a closed door, a bird soaring or camouflaged, a circle (of any sort) or something like repeatedly coming across a specific object. And yes, even in poetry, there is room to do this!
But then, that is the fun part! Playing with your words, your choices can add so much! You've got the premise, the main thoughts you want to convey--now play with what you have to see if you can layer in more meaning, and add additional nuance. Give the poem more depth!
Doing so much reading allows one to figure out why certain poems resonate, and why they have that magical staying power. Except--it isn't magic. It is playing with word choices, phrasings and context. It is going beyond the denotative meaning of a word and searching out all the connotations that might serve you, the writer, better.
Imagine if Frost simply said, "Nothing stays gold forever." It just would not be the same! Words can have impact, power, and volume. Using the right words can make all the difference in the world to your readers!
| ||Enlightenment (E)|
Reason shines as a spirit dressed in crystals of frost - Includes Reading
#2185022 by Emily
| ||Invalid Item |
This item number is not valid.
#2242755 by Not Available.
| ||Inheritance (18+)|
Needs to use the line "Spoils of the Dead" -From the Robert Frost poem of the same name
#1913436 by fyn
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|Mara ♣ McBain comments: What a beautiful story and tradition! Thank you for sharing. |
Thank you for reading!
Aiva Raine says: Beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing. I love the phrase, "For I am their light chasing away the darkness for another year."
Monty writes: And I did with that last poem you picked of Countrymom's that was written for my Traditional Poetry Group that I started in 03 and deleted when I left for eye surgery in 2015.
🌕 HuntersMoon adds: Thanks for including COUNTRYMOM-JUST REMEMBER ME's poem. She was a blessing to the site and many of us miss her still. As she so eloquently said, "It's the caring and sharing that matters, that we remember as long as we live!" Many blessings for the New Year to all...
COUNTRYMOM-JUST REMEMBER ME was SUCH a special lady! On SO many levels!!!
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